The holiday season is right around the corner. The stores have sales, you have a list and the mall management companies have security. While we don’t often think about the role of security professionals in the retail setting when we head to the mall, we experience their influence with every visit. While the overall focus is to create a safe and secure environment, the role of the security officer is varied, and changes based on the location and sometimes based on what is happening on a particular day. In addition to helping to communicate and maintain the facility’s code of conduct and any safety procedures, security officers are a resource to mall tenants and customers in many ways…
What if you lock your keys in your car?
Have you ever experienced a medical emergency while shopping?
Did you witness suspicious activity?
Have you left a package in a dressing room or at a register?
What if you needed an escort to your vehicle after dark?
Who would you turn to? If you asked a sales associate for assistance in any of these settings, who would they call?
Security personnel at shopping malls respond to all of these situations and manage behind-the-scenes responsibilities that the average shopper doesn’t think about. Those duties can include monitoring CCTV cameras, working as a liaison with local law enforcement and participating in emergency response planning. All of these responsibilities require vertical market and on-the-job training for carefully selected personnel who are a good fit for the environment.
A security provider with expertise in this setting understands all of the nuances and will deliver a customized approach including security officers that are responsive to the need for a careful balance of security and customer service. These security professionals face a challenging task every day and also often face comical stereotypes that are far from accurate.
Read more in this article originally published in Stores Magazine: No Laughing Matter – A Serious Look at Shopping Center Security Officers.
About the Author
Bud Bradley is the Vice President of National Accounts Portfolio Management at Allied Universal.